Lost Planet 2 • Page 3

Rediscovered country.

But as impressively fearsome as they may be as a spectacle, they're often not that much fun to actually battle against. Most boss sorties descend into a wearisome, drawn-out war of attrition, smashing rockets into their obvious glowing orange weak spots over and over, climbing into VS suits and emptying thousands of Gatling Gun bullets into them until bits eventually fall off. Then those bits regenerate, so you repeat the process as you chip away tiny chunks of their health bar.

As a four-player co-op mission, these epic scale battles can - at times - feel quite exhilarating as you work together to distract the lumbering form towering above you. But the longer you plough through these sections, the more it dawns on you that there's no skill involved - it's simply a case of hanging in there long enough.

Some of you will be singled out by the boss and be completely powerless to avoid their all-consuming attacks, and some of you will be merrily blasting away on the sidelines. You'll win eventually, but it mostly feels like a hollow victory based on how well you conserved your Battle Gauge points prior to the boss fight, rather than your skill in the conclusive battle. This is definitely no Monster Hunter.

To compound matters, the post-round scoring system that determines who performed best feels entirely arbitrary. Sometimes you'll play the lead role, putting yourself in harm's way, take all the risks and end up with a paltry C rank, while your less active support partner gets consistently superior awards simply because they didn't die so much and picked up more loot. Injustice!

Elsewhere, the game's competitive 16-player multiplayer modes remain in familiar territory. As with the original, Elimination, Team Elimination and Post Grab make the cut, with two maps reserved for Elimination and a further five for Post Grab. Two release-day maps are also promised.

4
Can I interest you in these fine leather jackets?

Although servers remained inactive at the time of review, our extensive hands-on sessions in April revealed these modes to be a huge amount of fun, albeit within a recognisable template, with endless rewards and customisation options likely to make it a facet of the game that will prove even more popular than it did last time around.

The wealth of experience-based rewards and customisation may well prove to be a real draw for players over the long haul. The sheer volume of costumes, emotes and unlockable weapons available to skilled players give the game the kind of long-term appeal Capcom specialises in.

If a skilled video editor were to cut together the best bits of Lost Planet 2, you would end up with the most persuasive montage of gameplay footage in recent times. Bombastic in scale and seductive in its epic ambition, it looks every inch the instant shooter classic. Sadly the hands-on reality tells a different story. Filled with hair-tearing moments of abject frustration that defy logic, mixed with fist-pumping moments of total exhilaration, it's a quite bizarre game of two halves.

Almost equally fun and frustrating whether played in co-op or in single-player mode, it's a game you'll both love and hate in the same breath.

6 /10

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Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed

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Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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